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free103point9 Newsroom has moved to http://free103point9.wordpress.com/as of March 18, 2010 A blog for radio artists with transmission art news, open calls, microradio news, and discussion of issues about radio art, creative use of radio, and radio technologies. free103point9 announcements are also included here.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Police passivity condemned after two armed attacks in one day on radio station

From Reporters Without Borders:
Reporters Without Borders voiced deep concern today about two armed attacks on privately-owned Radio Dijla in Baghdad on 3 May that left one person dead and two wounded.

“The two attacks on Radio Dijla, one after the other, were like military raids,” Reporters Without Borders said. “This independent station was assaulted by an organised military force equipped with heavy artillery. The attack took place in central Baghdad without any intervention from police units patrolling nearby. The Iraqi authorities must shoulder some of the blame for this latest episode in the cycle of violence against journalists and the media.”

About 10 gunmen launched the first of the two attacks on Radio Dijla in the west Baghdad neighbourhood of Al Jami’a at around 9 a.m. The employees were able to hold them off using firearms previously provided by the management as security precaution. At the same time, four employees eluded a kidnap attempt by fleeing into the stations’s premises.

The station appealed to the police and military authorities for help, but no help was sent during the attack, which lasted half an hour. The gunmen shot security guard Adel Al-Badri dead and wounded two other employees.

The second attack took place several hours later, after all the employees had abandoned the building, and was presumably carried out by the same group. They set explosive charges in the building’s first floor and started a fire, destroying the station’s transmitter and causing a lot of other damage. Radio Dijla nonetheless hoped to resume broadcasting within 72 hours.

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